What Color Lure Is Best For Night Fishing?

The type of lure used for fishing is critical. The color, shape, and motion of a lure determine how successful it is. Night fishing is no exception to this. The type of lure used for fishing at night determines how well it works. Every aspect of the lure is important for night fishing, including its color, so which color is best for fishing at night?

Dark-colored lures are best for night fishing. Black, blue, purple, red, green, and gray lures work best for night fishing. They create a strong contrast from below as light penetrates the water. Dark-colored lures that create vibrations and noise in the water are best for night fishing.

The best lures for fishing at night must meet various criteria, of which color is among the most important. The color of a lure is always important, and anglers should consider the color carefully, especially when fishing at night. Let’s learn more about lure colors for night fishing and which to use successfully in this situation.

different lure types on a white background

What Color Lure Is Best For Night Fishing?

The color of a lure is always important, regardless of the fishing situation. If you prefer to fish with lures, it is critical to choose the right lure for the fish you are targeting and the right color for the water you are fishing in.

The color of a lure is just as important at night as it is during the day. The best colors for night fishing may seem somewhat counterintuitive to some anglers as the best color lures to use for night fishing is dark.

Colors such as black, purple, dark blue, dark green, dark red, and dark grey are typically the best colors for fishing at night, regardless of the fish you are targeting.

These dark colors work so well because they create a string outline and are more visible from below when the only source of light is above.

From beneath the surface of the water, any lure that is lightly colored or clear will look invisible, as the surface of the water appears very bright in contrast to the deeper water.

When a fish sees a lure from below, a dark color causes it to stand out from the light behind it, making it far more visible to the fish that may bite it.

The goal when fishing with lures at night is to make the lure are clearly visible as possible. The best way to do this is to cause it to stand out from the brighter surface of the water, cause it to make noise and vibrations, and make the lure reflect light as much as possible.

For this reason, some anglers use lures that are not only a dark color but are also coated in a reflective material or made from a reflective material.

When a lure has a dark color, it stands out in the water, and if it is also reflective, it catches light from outside the water, causing it to flash in the water, making it much more visible.

The best colors for lures used at night are dark colors and lures with a reflective coating. This is true for all fish that hunt at night and for all fish that are likely to be caught at night. Other critical factors must be considered, but these colors always work best for night fishing.  

a carp fish being removed from a net at night

Does Lure Color Really Matter For Night Fishing?

Many anglers state that the color of a lure is not very important for its success while fishing at night. Is there any reality to this claim, or is the color of a lure crucial for its success during night fishing?

The answer here is somewhat challenging. The color of a lure is important for night fishing, but other factors may be more important for the success of the lure, depending on the water, the fishing conditions, and the target fish.

The truth is that the color of a lure is less important at night than during the day. Factors such as the way the lure moves in the water and the way it disturbs the water are considered more important for night fishing than the color of the lure.

Most fish that are active at night tend to hunt or look for food by relying on senses other than sight. Most fish have poor eyesight, especially at night, and therefore rely on the movement, sound, and vibrations emitted by prey items to locate them in the dark.

For this reason, the way a lure moves in the water is more important than its color when night fishing.

With that said, the color of a lure is important for night fishing, as fish do still rely on sight to some degree, and if a fish cannot locate the source of a sound or vibration it detects, it is less likely to bite it.

This means that if a lure is light-colored or clear, fish are far less likely to take it, even if it is a perfect mimic of the regular food that the fish targets.

Dark-colored lures will always work better at night than light or clear lures. The color of the lure is part of the recipe for a successful night fishing lure, but it is not the only attribute that makes a lure good for fishing at night.

a brown lure being held against black background

Which Lures Are Best For Night Fishing?

We have established that the color of a lure is not the only attribute that makes a lure good for night fishing, so what other factors make a lure good for fishing in the dark? Which lures are best for night fishing?

The best lures to use for night fishing are surface lures that make a good amount of noise and vibration in the water. A good night fishing lure should disturb the water in a natural way that may be done by insects or other prey items that fish are looking for at night.

Many predator fish hunt at night and search the surface from below for prey items. This means that lures that cause a natural-looking disturbance on the surface of the water are the best lures to use at night.

Some of the best and most successful lures for night fishing include the following:

  • Spinners
  • Poppers
  • Buzz lures
  • Crankbaits
  • Surface lures
  • Propbaits
  • Crawlers
  • Jigs
  • Spoons

Lures such as spinners, poppers, buzz lures, crawlers, and crankbaits create a lot of movement and vibration in the water that are very likely to attract predatory fish that may be hunting at night.

The movement of these baits combined with a dark color is very likely to catch fish while night fishing. There are few baits that work better for night fishing than these.

However, baits such as spoons and others that are reflective or shiny can be just as effective. These lures are very good at causing flashes in the water while causing a good amount of disturbance and vibration.

These lures are best for catching larger fish, but they are highly effective when fishing at night.

three spoon lures on a white background

Can Fish See Lures At Night?

A common question among anglers is whether or not fish can see lures at night. Most anglers understand that lures work during the day, but how effective are lures at night?

Fish can see lures at night, depending on the clarity of the water and the amount of ambient light that penetrates the water.

If you are fishing in a very bright area that is lit with artificial light, such as near docks or commercial waters, there is likely to be a lot of light that penetrates the water. This allows fish to see lures quite well, especially when it is a dark color that creates good contrast with the light coming into the water.

However, if the water is very murky or if there is no light, such as when fishing in remote areas on cloudy nights, fish are less likely to see your lure at night.

The less light there is and the less clear the water is, the less visible lures become, regardless of the time of day and the color of the lure.  

However, fish tend to rely on other senses at night regardless of the visibility in the water. Fish do not have good eyesight, and most never rely on their eyes for hunting or finding food.

Fish use eyesight mostly during the day, but fish that are active and likely to hunt at night have adapted to rely on other senses, as there is limited light at night that enables them to find food.

For this reason, it is important to remember that the lures you use are not likely to work due to fish seeing them alone, but rather by taking advantage of all of the senses fish use to find food, including vibrations, smells, and sounds.

Fish use all of these factors to find food at night, and the lures you use should take advantage of as many of these factors as possible when night fishing.

How To Know Which Lure To Use For Night Fishing

Night fishing is very different from fishing during the day, but it can be very successful.

There are some species of predatory fish that are most active at night. This includes some of the largest fish species.

Night fishing can yield some of the most exciting fishing experiences for any angler, but it can be very challenging. Using the right combination of gear, rigs, lures, skills, and techniques is the only way to successfully catch fish at night, and every angler must take the time to find this right combination if they engage in night fishing.

This leads many anglers, especially anglers with no night fishing experience, to wonder what makes a lure good for fishing after dark.

There are several aspects of the lure to consider, and some lures are far better for night fishing than others, but with the right lure, night fishing can be very successful.

Here are some of the most crucial considerations when choosing the right lures for night fishing:

Consider The Natural Food Of Your Target Fish

Among the most important considerations when choosing a lure for night fishing is the natural food items your target fish is looking for.

Consider the size of your fish and the type of food it eats, and choose a lure that best resembles these items.

For example, if you are targeting trout, using a Spooner is the wrong lure, as these do not resemble the natural prey items trout usually look for, and spooners are usually too large for trout to take.

Instead, lures such as small crankbaits and poppers are far more likely to succeed, as they mimic the insects that trout are looking for on the surface of the water.

Consider The Movement Of The Lure

The most important consideration to make when selecting a lure for night fishing is the fish that you are targeting and the natural movement in the water of the prey items that the fish usually eats.

Using a lure that does not move or act in the water like the fish is expecting its food to move is very unlikely to be taken by a fish at night.

The lures that you choose should make the same vibrations, movements, and sounds in the water as the prey items that your target fish typically searches for.

This is important because the fish will rely on sight to find the lure, but rather on how it moves and sounds in the water.

For example, spinnerbaits are known to be very successful for night fishing when targeting bass. These lures mimic the movements of insects and small fish on the surface of the water and create just the right amount of noise and vibration to attract the fish.

Bass are aggressive hunters that search the water for these movements and sounds. If your lure creates the same attractions in the water, it is far more likely to work for your target fish.

Consider The Color Of The Lure

As we have already learned, the color of the lure you choose for night fishing is an important factor.

Never use a brightly colored lure for night fishing, nor should you use a lure that is clear or a lure that has a light color.

Always use lures with dark colors for night fishing. Black, gray, blue, green, red, purple, and other dark colors will always yield better results for night fishing than others, regardless of the lures you use and the fish you expect to catch with them.

Reflective colors and surfaces can also be effective at night, especially when targeting certain fish such as bass or trout, but the dark color of a lure is more likely to be visible for more species of fish, making it far more important than the reflections the lure may produce.

Can You Use Any Lure For Night Fishing?

If you are heading out for a night fishing trip for the first time, do you need to buy specific lures for night fishing, or can you use what you have until you learn the ins and outs of this type of fishing?

This is an important question for anglers who are learning to night fish. The truth is that you can use any lures for night fishing. Certain lures are more effective for others, but it is perfectly acceptable to use the same lures that you would use for fishing during the day.

If you are just getting into night fishing, use the lures that you have.

It is best to use the darkest colored lures in your tackle box. You should try to use lures that will attract the fish you expect to be hunting at night, but if you are new to this type of fishing, rather use what you have than buy new lures until you develop the skills needed to be very successful at night fishing.

It is best to treat night fishing the same as fishing during the day until you find the techniques and methods that work well for you.

If you can catch fish at night with lures that work in the day, then you can definitely catch fish at night with lures designed for night fishing.

tent and fishing setup at night beside a river

Will All Fish Take Lures At Night?

This is another important question that new night anglers ask, and the answer depends on where you will fish, and what type of fish are in the waters you want to fish in.

Most larger predatory fish are likely to take lures at night, but not all fish can be caught while night fishing.

Bottom-feeders are less likely to take lures at night, as many of these species are more active during the day. Fish that primarily feed on insects are likely to take lures at dawn and dusk but less likely to be caught at night.

Fish more active in warm water are also less likely to take lures at night unless the water is warmer than usual.

However, with that said, there are certain fish species that are only active at night and can only be caught at night.

For this reason, it is best to find out what species of fish can be caught in the waters that you are fishing in. Use lures that target the fish in your fishing location that are likely to take lures at night, and you will have much more success than otherwise.


Night fishing can be difficult, but it is best to use lures that fish are more likely to notice. This means that dark-colored lures are more likely to work while night fishing than any other lures.

It is best to use lures that attract fish in several ways when night fishing rather than only relying on the fish seeing the lure. Use lures that make noise and vibrations, and move like prey items in the water. These lures always work the best for night fishing.

Tommy Bull
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